EM Simulations in Automotive Industry

Sindhu VT, Sr. Application Engineer - Electromagnetics Jul 2nd, 2024

Today’s automobiles have evolved into high-technology devices with numerous features beyond their primary transportation purpose. Recent advancements in mobile communication technologies, including 5G, have facilitated the development of advanced automotive applications such as autonomous driving. In past decades, automotive simulations focused primarily on mechanical and fluid dynamics. Current trends, however, emphasize the integration of mobile communications, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication, and autonomous driving, all of which necessitate increasingly sophisticated electromagnetic and electronic simulations.

For decades, several traditional simulation algorithms have been used to numerically solve electromagnetic problems. These include the Finite Integration Technique applied to hexahedral discretization meshes in the time domain and the Finite Element Method (FEM) on tetrahedral meshes for frequency-domain steady-state simulations. Although in principle the same kind of mesh generators as for other physics domains can be used, specific mesh quality requirements must be satisfied for electromagnetic simulation purposes.

SIMULIA CST Studio Suite emerges as a powerful tool in the automotive industry, offering comprehensive electromagnetic simulation capabilities that aid designers in advancing vehicle safety, efficiency, connectivity and driving innovation in the modern automotive designs.

Here are the key areas of EM simulation needs in the automotive industry and how CST Studio Suite aids in solving related issues:

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

  • Need: Ensuring that different electronic systems within the vehicle do not interfere with each other or with external systems.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Simulation and Analysis: CST Studio Suite simulates potential EMI issues, helping identify and mitigate them early in the design process.
    • Compliance Testing: It supports virtual EMC testing to ensure compliance with regulatory standards, reducing the need for costly physical testing.

Antenna Design and Integration

  • Need: Optimizing the performance of antennas for various communication systems within the vehicle.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Antenna Placement: CST Studio Suite helps in simulating and determining the best locations for antennas to maximize performance and minimize interference.
    • Performance Optimization: It enables detailed analysis and optimization of antenna designs, ensuring efficient operation of systems like GPS, LTE, 5G, and V2X communication.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicles

  • Need: Reliable operation of radar and sensor systems for safe and efficient vehicle operation.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Radar Simulation: CST Studio Suite accurately simulates radar systems to optimize their range, resolution, and accuracy.
    • Virtual Testing of ADAS Algorithms: The software enables virtual testing of ADAS algorithms by simulating the sensor inputs and validating the performance of detection, classification, and decision-making algorithms under various conditions.

Electronics and Communication Systems

  • Need: Ensuring signal integrity and reducing crosstalk in high-speed electronic systems.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Signal Integrity Analysis: CST Studio Suite provides tools to analyze and ensure signal integrity in complex electronic circuits.
    • Crosstalk Reduction: It helps in identifying and mitigating crosstalk between closely packed electronic components.

Power Electronics and Electrification

  • Need: Designing efficient and reliable power electronic components for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Power Electronics Simulation: CST Studio Suite aids in the design and optimization of power inverters, converters, and battery management systems.
    • Electromagnetic Field Analysis: It simulates electromagnetic fields around high-power components to prevent interference and ensure safety.

Thermal Management

  • Need: Managing the thermal effects of electronic components to prevent overheating and ensure longevity.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Thermal Simulation: CST Studio Suite integrates thermal analysis with electromagnetic simulation to predict and manage heat dissipation.
    • Cooling Optimization: It helps in designing effective cooling solutions for electronic components.

Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

  • Need: Ensuring that displays and touchscreens are free from electromagnetic interference.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • EMI Shielding: CST Studio Suite can simulate the effectiveness of EMI shielding techniques for HMI components.
    • Display Optimization: It aids in optimizing the design and placement of displays to minimize interference.

Wireless Charging

  • Need: Designing efficient and safe wireless charging systems for electric vehicles.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Wireless Power Transfer: CST Studio Suite simulates the electromagnetic fields involved in wireless power transfer, optimizing efficiency and safety.
    • Interference Analysis: It helps ensure that wireless charging systems do not interfere with other vehicle systems.

Cable Harness Design

  • Need: Reducing electromagnetic interference in complex cable harnesses.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • Cable Simulation: CST Studio Suite can simulate the electromagnetic environment of cable harnesses, identifying potential interference issues.
    • Shielding Optimization: It helps design effective shielding and layout strategies to minimize EMI.

Acoustic Noise and Vibration

  • Need: Addressing electromagnetic noise that can cause acoustic issues.
  • Solution with CST Studio Suite:
    • EM Noise Simulation: CST Studio Suite can model and analyze electromagnetic noise sources to mitigate their impact on acoustic performance.
    • Integrated Analysis: It provides tools for co-simulating electromagnetic and acoustic effects to ensure a quiet cabin environment.

Overall, CST Studio Suite empowers automotive engineers and researchers with advanced simulation tools to innovate, optimize, and validate designs, thereby accelerating the development of next-generation vehicles that are safer, more efficient, and technologically advanced. Its role in the automotive industry underscores its importance as a cornerstone technology in driving forward the future of mobility.

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AUTHOR: Sindhu VT, Sr. Application Engineer - Electromagnetics

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